Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Guys

I spent last Saturday with these two characters. It was a great day.
dad and scooby

“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”
–Sydney Jeanne Seward

Getting Crafty – and Then Getting Paint off My Skin Using Lemon Oil

Last night, I turned my fingers black.

I was working on something new for Beer Paws that involves paint and a stencil.

While I’m not ready to say just what it is, here’s a sneak peek.

Beer Paws paw print logo stencil

I repeated this design a bunch of times in two different sizes. By the end, it was apparent that my spraycan skills need some refinement. But I’m still stoked to unveil my creations at several events this weekend.

And I’m relieved that the unveiling won’t involve discolored fingers. I managed to get all of the paint off of my skin, and even out of the crevices beneath my fingernails using two simple substances: lemon oil and coconut oil.

doterra lemon oil and fractionated coconut oil

I couldn’t believe how effective the lemon oil alone was at breaking down the paint.

However, lemon oil is highly acidic and stung any place on my hands where I had an invisible cut. That’s what prompted me to add the fractionated coconut oil. The combination of oils was easier to rub on my skin and seemed to work better. Afterwards, my skin even felt moisturized.

Although I wasn’t exactly measuring, here’s what I would recommend if you find yourself with paint-y fingers after a craft project:

Removing Paint from Your Skin Using Lemon Oil and Coconut Oil

  • Mix 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil with four or five drops of lemon oil.
  • Rub on your skin until the paint dissipates.

Have you ever used lemon oil? Leave your story or tip in the comments!

We use essential oils a lot at Wayward House, even for the dogs. If you’d like to learn more about essential oils in daily life, check out my friend Jennifer’s Medicine Cabinet Makeover page on Facebook.

My Latest Lovely Silhouettes

Sometimes there’s a lag between my acquisition of art and its proper display.

Two fine silhouettes are currently waiting to get their place on a wall at Wayward House.

miniature pinscher silhouette

This custom print is a dog silhouette on photo paper by Kari Machal Designs.

It was an awesome birthday gift from my dear friend Shawn.

doberman silhouette

This beautiful hand-painted doberman silhouette is an original work by Lezlie Ferguson. She traded it to me for some Beer Paws goodies during the I Love My Dog Expo in Lincoln, Nebraska.

In addition to being a painter, Lezlie is also co-owner of The Canine Scrub, a self-serve dog wash in Lincoln. I’m going to do a pop up shop there for Beer Paws on Sunday, and I am packing extra treats for her personal dogs. I love her painting so much, and I don’t think we are close to even on that trade yet!

Have you acquired any doggy art lately? Leave a comment about it – or better yet, a picture – below!

Foster Update: What Happened to Blind Willie


jack russell terrier in procone recovery collar

It’s always hard to let a foster dog go.

Are-you-sure-WE-shouldn’t-keep-the-dog drama has surrounded the departure of every single dog we have temporarily taken into our home.

Blind Willie was no different.

Smart, silly and amazingly adaptable despite being totally blind, Willie wowed us from day one. Everyone who met him while he was under our care agreed that this jack russell terrier was special – and not just because he had no eyes.

Nevertheless, the time came for Willie to leave Wayward House. Due to a home improvement project that rendered our backyard unsafe for a blind dog, that time came before he had a forever home.

jack russell terrier and golden retriever walk

Little Willie headed back to Kennel Creek Pet Resort. But he didn’t stay there long.

Recognizing that the kennel environment had never been ideal for Blind Willie, an employee introduced him to her parents.

They loved him. Luckily, the other dogs in their house took to Willie, as well.

In fact, Willie seems to be fitting in better with his new pack than he did with mine.

jack russell terrier and a beagle


He lives with three other dogs now – a Pomeranian, a beagle and a pug. I’m told he and the pug are inseparable.

Willie’s other best friend is a toy fish that makes bubbling noises when he carries it around. I’m told he picked the toy out himself!

jack russell terrier and a pug

Although I haven’t personally met Willie’s new parents, the stories I’m hearing and the pictures they have shared warm my heart. And they make me so glad that I didn’t hold on to my little blind foster dog out of fear that no one would take a chance on him. The right family was out there, right under our noses!

Says the daughter of the couple who gives Willie belly rubs now:

“My family specializes in loving pets that are just a little on the special side, and he fits right in. Thank you for taking good care of him for us!”

Blind Willie

Thank you to everyone who was rooting for Blind Willie all along, especially to those who helped us raise money for his eye removal surgery.

Do you find it hard to say goodbye to your foster dogs? Share your thoughts about this topic in the comments below.

Wordless Wednesday: A New Family

jack russell terrier wearing red hoodie

You haven’t heard much about foster dog Blind Willie from me lately.

That’s because he’s been busy getting to know his forever family!

jack russell terrier and a pug

jack russell terrier and a beagle

It looks like he’s having fun, doesn’t it?

Come back tomorrow for the full update on Blind Willie’s adoption!

Support the work of animal rescue by shopping Beer Paws!

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Treat Me Tuesday: NutriSource

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

I make and sell my own brand of dog treats, but the Wayward Dogs also enjoy sampling other varieties on the market.

They were thrilled recently when Chewy.com sent a sample of NutriSource Soft & Tender training treats.

The meaty little bones provide a high-value reward for any size dog. Because they are soft, they are easy for the elderpin to chew.

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

Luke would gulp them down by the handful if I let him.

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

Made in the USA and free of wheat, soy and artificial colors and flavors, these treats also boast an added ingredient: Carniking™.

The benefits of this supplement are not explained on the NutriSource packaging, so I did some research. Carniking™ is a dietary supplement manufactured by the company Lonza. Carniking™ is, essentially, L-carnitine, a chemical naturally produced by the canine, human and feline body to help metabolize fat.

According to Lonza’s website: “Carniking™ research in pets has shown that when diets containing Carniking™ are fed to both dogs and cats, the level of body fat is reduced while the percentage of lean muscle mass increases.”

NutriSource Soft & Tender dog treats

In addition to helping with body fat, Carniking™ can also promote a healthy heart and liver. Lonza mentions that the supplement is especially important for senior pets like Luke and the elderpin whose natural ability to produce L-carnitine is diminished.

In addition to being healthy, the NutriSource Soft & Tender Treats are also inexpensive. You can get a 6-oz bag for $2.99 over at Chewy.com.

They come packaged in a resealable plastic bag. Once opened, the treats maintained their freshness pretty well, although I did notice some drying after a week or so. They contain a few natural preservatives, so I didn’t worry about the quality. However, for aesthetic reasons, you might consider storing these treats in the fridge if you plan on feeding them to your dog over the course of a month or so.

Have you tried any new treats lately? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I received a free product sample in exchange for my honest review.

Monday is for Molly Mutt

Here’s how far behind I am in posting:

My birthday happened way back on February 17. Around that time, I received a super awesome gift in the mail from my friend Miranda.

I’m writing about it today because it’s Monday. And Miranda, the gift and her new dog Moby all start with the letter M…

Although I loved it from first sight, I had no idea how useful Miranda’s gift would become to me. I use it every single day.

It’s a Molly Mutt tote bag, embroidered with my name.

persolnalized Molly Mutt tote bag

persolnalized Molly Mutt tote bag

Let’s be honest: Like a lot of contemporary consumers, I have a lot of reusable totes. Too many, in fact.

They clog up the coat rack and don’t always make it to the grocery store with me. I don’t use them often enough and yet I can’t bring myself to throw them away. They are functional, but they aren’t fun to use. They are made of weird fabrics and only offer that one big compartment, which isn’t so convenient if you are doing anything but transporting groceries.

The Molly Mutt tote on the other hand is a tote-ally different story.

Rather than that stiff laminated fabric that a lot of freebie totes are made of, the Molly Mutt bag is soft to the touch yet durable. Looking at the stitching, I can’t ever imagine a handle breaking. And although I’ve had the bag very full, the straps never seem to cut into my shoulder.

The bag itself is roomy but not oversized. I’ve stuck the elderpin inside it a time or two and more lately have been using it to transport my laptop. Of course, the bag is ideal for any shopping excursion or for carrying a dog’s supplies for a trip.

In addition to the main compartment, the Molly Mutt bag has a flat front pocket and two small ones inside.

A lot of my dog mom friends have been fans of Molly Mutt for a while. This is the first time I have ever used one of the brand’s products. I now understand their devotion.

What’s your favorite bag? Leave your answer in the comments.

While you’re online, go check out Miranda’s blog!

This post is in no way sponsored by Molly Mutt – it’s 100% my opinion.

Tips for Hiking or Camping with Your Dog (Video)


As you know, we occasionally take our dogs along when we travel.

Luke especially enjoys any opportunity to hit the trails and grasslands and chase bunnies off-leash.

Through my experiences hiking and camping with the dogs, I’ve learned a few do’s and don’ts.

I had the opportunity to share a few tips with an audience last Thursday during an in-store event at the Eddie Bauer store on Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

Check out the video and add your tips for traveling with pets in the comments below.

Also, pay attention to the introduction by Wendy Garrett, coordinator of the event and blogger at PetSense.com. She talks about Eddie Bauer’s connection to black labradors!

Big thanks to the Eddie Bauer store for inviting me to speak!

In conjunction with my speaking event, I’m running a special on Beer Paws. Through April 1, get 10% off your order when you use the discount code EDDIEBAUER at checkout. Click here to shop.

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Why Is this Blind Dog So Happy Despite Wearing a Cone of Shame?

My foster dog Blind Willie is a good-tempered little guy.

He rolls with the punches – er, bonks on the head – life deals him and carries on.

jack russell terrier with southern tier brewing company beer

Willie is probably the most determined dog I have ever met. He’s scared of almost nothing and every day amazes me with his ability to get around – like a boss! – even though he’s totally blind.

However, undergoing surgery recently did dampen Willie’s spirit for a while. Although his only remaining eye was useless to him, having it surgically removed was, of course, traumatic.

In addition to pain and confusion, following surgery Willie experienced serious disorientation.

jack russell terrier in e-collar cone of shame

This sucks.

Every dog I’ve ever seen in the cone of shame has an understandably harder time getting around. The cone gets caught on things. They have a hard time judging how much extra space the lampshade requires. Relaxing with your head surrounded by plastic is awkward.

Watching a blind dog stumble around in a cone was particularly hard to watch , especially considering he got around so well before in spite of being sightless.

jack russell terrier and golden retriever walk

Whether made of soft fabric or hard plastic, I think a cone must distort a dog’s sense of sound.

Willie was obviously uncomfortable in the hard plastic e-collar, but I was hesitant to put him in a cone with more give. The worst thing I could imagine was a flimsy cone not preventing something from poking Willie right in his slowly healing eye hole.

Due to fears about that very subject, Willie spent part of his recovery, cone and all, at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, where there was absolutely no chance of his eye hole getting poked because he spent most of his time confined to his suite or on supervised leash walks.

But despite our best efforts, an unforseen complication from the surgery has meant additional weeks for Willie in the cone.

A tiny part of a tear gland was left behind during the original operation. This caused Willie’s wound to weep. For proper healing the only option was for the vet to open up the surgical site again and restitch Willie.

The first night after the follow up visit, Willie was sadder than I’ve ever seen him. He just laid in his bed and groaned. I barely got him to take his pain pill.

But as the days progressed he got his appetite back.

And then he got fed up with that cone.

Never one to settle for an unsatisfactory situation, Willie made his frustration clear. He strutted angrily around the house and rolled his head on the ground through the cone, somehow even managing to loosen one of his stitches.

The vet recommended Benadryl (we use generic brand Walfinate) to calm him down and reduce any itchiness from the healing wound. I decided it was also time for a more comfortable cone.

Luke has an actual Comfy Cone, but it’s way too big for Willie. So, I took the little guy to Brookside Barkery, and two women spent a long time helping me find the best fitting ProCone Recovery Collar for Willie.

jack russell terrier in procone recovery collar

While I know that a panting dog is not necessarily a happy dog, I couldn’t help but feel he was happier in the ProCone when I took this picture just after we left the store.

He also seemed to sleep much better that night. (Thanks, Walfinate!)

It’s been almost a week since we got the ProCone, and I’m happy to report Willie doesn’t really need it anymore. He’ll likely have his stitches removed in the next few days.

Then, I hope we can find someone to adopt him!

If you live in the Kansas City area and have interest in adopting Blind Willie, contact me via the form below.

Help me help more dogs like Blind Willie by supporting my business. We donate a portion of all profits to animal rescue.

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How to Honor the Memory of Your Dog

This is Dixie.


She’s a friend of Luke and Scooby, although they never got to meet her nose-to-nose.

We got to know Dixie, through her mama, my friend Miranda, who lives in Georgia and blogs at WOOF! Tails from St. Simon’s Island.

Dixie didn’t have a great start to life. She was part of an unwanted litter born to a dog who belonged to a family but mostly just roamed the countryside around their home. Miranda tried to get Dixie a home with another member of that family, but he didn’t think the little brindle pup was very pretty.

So, she went home with Miranda instead.

She became a good companion to Miranda’s other dog Brutus, and they all loved each other through good times and bad.

We’ve gotten to know Dixie, Brutus and their pug brother Boney over the past couple of years as Miranda and I reconnected.

Unfortunately, during that time first Brutus and then Dixie have made their way to the rainbow bridge. Dixie’s journey there involved weeks of chemo followed by a blessed – but short – remission.

My heart broke for Miranda and her husband Joe when Dixie’s cancer came back. But they savored every moment with her until she became too sick to enjoy her walks, a good meal or even a good night’s rest anymore. Even then, the decision to say goodbye to our pets isn’t easy, I know.

But as they said goodbye to Dixie, Miranda and Joe made a the decision to honor her memory by helping other dogs.

They did this in two ways.

  1. They adopted another rescue dog.
  2. They encouraged their family to make donations in Dixie’s name to rescue organizations.

 Can you think of a more righteous way to celebrate the memory of a beloved pet?

You might know the dog Miranda and Joe adopted. He’s kind of a blog star – Moby, the most recent foster project from Our Waldo Bungie.

Although she was a Georgia dog, I’m also incredibly appreciative as I report that part of Dixie’s memorial money also came to Kansas City. Miranda’s family made a donation in her name to the organization to which my foster dog belongs, the Wayward Dog Foundation.

How will you honor the memory of your pet? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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